Finally, spring is here, and we can’t wait to get out and take advantage of everything the season has to offer, especially after a long winter (and year) at home. From seeing zoo animals out of hibernation to walking among fields of tulips to checking out a favorite NJ attraction that’s reopened for the season—there are so many things to do in NJ to fill your spring bucket list this season. Scroll down to find our NJMOM bucket list, and don’t forget to check out our 7 Ways To Do Spring Break In New Jersey 2021, too.
featured photo via @sfgradventure
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Fun Things to do in NJ this spring
1. Get aquatic with sea life at an NJ aquarium
Go under the sea without getting wet when you check out the aquariums in NJ. Spending time is a great way to idle away an afternoon and learn about sea life and conservation. Find out where to waddle with the penguins, watch a shark swim, or observe huge hippos and more with our NJMOM guide to Aquariums In NJ.
2. Hang with the animals at the best zoos in NJ
Say hello to the animals after the long winter with zoos reopening this week. See giraffes and elephants from your car at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari or check out what flamingos, lions, bears, and the like are doing at Turtle Back Zoo or Cape May County Zoo. For more ideas, read our 13 Zoos in NJ To Visit This Spring.
3. Spread your wings at an NJ butterfly garden
From monarchs to the Viceroy and the Tiger swallowtail, each butterfly has unique colors and characteristics. And the best way to see one up close is to visit a butterfly garden in NJ where you can see these colorful insects fly by. Here are 7 Butterfly Gardens in NJ To Visit This Spring.
4. See spring flowers in bloom at an NJ Flower Field, Garden or Farm
Tulips, roses, and orchids will all be in bloom, and luckily NJ has plenty of spots to view them. Whether you walk through rows of tulips at Holland Farms or take close-up photos of the roses at Deep Cut Gardens there is beauty popping up all over the state. Make sure you check out our NJMOM guide—Spring Flowers in New Jersey Are Here—Where To See Every Bloom.
5. Spend the day at an NJ botanical garden
Spending time in a garden, arboretum, or nature center can give your family all the spring feels. Plus, you’ll learn about plants and nature to jumpstart your own garden. Head north to Van Vleck House or south to Deep Cut Gardens and read The Best Garden and Nature Centers in New Jersey for more places to go.
6. Plan a family getaway to an NJ resort
We could all use a vacay right about now, so planning one for a weekend within the tri-state area is a spring bucket list must. And with so many places nearby, it’s easy to find an escape that appeals to everyone in the fam. Try one with an indoor pool that feels like a tropical escape at Crystal Springs Resort, hit the majestic hiking trails in the Catskills at Mohonk Mountain House, or get close to the ocean at Congress Hall—here is our NJMOM guide to 10 Kid-Friendly Resorts Around New Jersey.
7. Discover an NJ attraction you’ve never seen
Did you know that New Jersey has the oldest roadside attraction in the world, a battleship you can walk onto and roaring life-size dinos? Now is a great time to explore those, and other fun trips include seeing larger-than-life art at Grounds For Sculpture, controlling a real dump truck at Diggerland, and watching nursery rhymes come to life at Storybook Land. Check out our NJMOM guide to NJ Attractions To Enjoy This Spring. And if you are feeling adventurous, plan to make a trip to these strange NJ attractions (like a martian landing site—for real).
8. Cozy up with an alpaca at one of New Jersey’s alpaca farms
This spring is your chance to meet a gentle-hearted, soft animal from the camelid family at one of the Alpaca Farms in NJ. Your littles will love cozying up to the gentle creatures and learning about how their fur is used to make lots of products yearly (all 100% safe and animal-friendly).
9. Hang out at an NJ playground by the water
Spending time at a playground is a top spring activity for littles, so why not make it one with water views? Pack a picnic and head down to the shore, to lakes, or even right at the beach to swing and slide over the sand. Here is our #NJMOM guide to the Best Beach Playgrounds in New Jersey, and if you can’t get to the shore but want a ship theme, the Regatta Playground in the South Mountain Recreation Complex overlooking a pond is worth a visit too.
10. Have a garden tea party with your besties
With warmer temps and more time outside, attending a garden tea party or hosting one is a spring must. Dress up and sit in the sunshine sipping that Matcha with your bestie or bring your little along to enjoy some finger sandwiches and jam. You can head to a garden with a tea service or have everything for a party brought to you with our NJMOM guide to 7 Ways To Host A Tea Party in New Jersey This Spring.
11. Pose in pastels for a spring photo shoot
If you missed your annual photo shoot or want a spring photo for the ‘gram and grandparents, there’s plenty of pretty places in NJ to get that shot. Hire a photographer or DIY and scope out a spot in our NJMOM guide to the 12 Insta-worthy Spring Photo Shoot Locations in NJ or 9 Places To Take Pictures In NJ For Your Family Photoshoot.
12. Get some fresh air at the top of an NJ waterfall
Want to feel like you’ve landed in paradise without going out of state? Head to one of 19 Of The Best Waterfalls in NJ. New Jersey is known for many things like beaches and state parks, but if there’s one more thing we should be known for, it’s gorgeous waterfalls. Some are easily seen from a roadside lookout, while others require a hike (check out what’s doable for your family before you go). Try an outdoor excursion at Paterson Great Falls, one of the best known in the state.
13. Hit an NJ hiking trail
From riding through picturesque towns to trails that are part of Revolutionary War history to bike paths that follow the shoreline, you can discover a new bike path with our NJMOM guide to 18 Scenic Bike Trails and Paths In New Jersey. Need some wheels? Find a smooth ride at the Best Bike Shops All Around New Jersey. Or if you would rather stay on your two feet, these are the Best NJ Hiking Trails When You Need To Take a Hike.
14. Hop to it with the Easter Bunny at an egg hunt
With Easter two weeks away, now is the time to do those Easter things you didn’t get to do last year. Take a hayride with the bunny, gather pastel eggs, or get on board with an Easter Bunny train ride. Our #NJMOM guide to the 14 Easter Egg Hunts, Activities, & Events in New Jersey In 2021 is a great source to plan your hoppy holiday in 2021.
6. Climb to the top at one of the NJ Lighthouses
The lighthouses in New Jersey give a peek into our state’s maritime history and incredible views. With the Sandy Hook to the north, Absecon Lighthouse to the south, and Finn’s Point out west, there are so many options to see a lighthouse or lightship in the state. Not sure where to start? Our guide to 11 NJ Lighthouses To Visit With the Kids will show you the way.